When you see “Fred. Olson Cruise Lines” written, you might suspect someone made a typo. In fact, you might suspect they made two typos – there is the seemingly inexplicable period after “Fred,” and also the fact that the cruise line (and it is only one cruise line) refers to itself in the plural. Fred. Olson Cruise Lines is the company’s name, though, however strange it strikes one at first. But of course the company’s name is of little interest. We are here to discuss the cruise line itself, which is largely unknown outside the U.K. Below we provide an overview of Fred. Olson Cruise Lines for any of our readers who are debating taking a Fred. Olson cruise or who simply want to learn more about this strangely named company.
As we just noted, the company is mostly known only in the U.K., and this is of course because it is based there. It sails ships from 10 ports in the U.K., including two in Scotland (from Glasgow and Edinburgh) and one in Northern Ireland (from Belfast). The ports that the cruise line uses in England are the major ones, like Liverpool, Newcastle, and Southampton. Given that all these ports are in the U.K., it should come as no surprise that Pounds Sterling is the currency used on board the ship. Although Fred. Olson is clearly catering to the British cruise market, the company is actually Norwegian-owned. It is part of the Fred. Olson Group, a large shipping conglomerate based in Oslo, Norway.
The Fred. Olson fleet is composed of four ships, none of which are particularly large. The largest, the Balmoral, has a gross tonnage of 43,537 and can accommodate 1,230 passengers. The Black Watch and the Boudicca are of a similar size. They both have a gross tonnage of about 28,000 and can fit almost exactly the same number of passengers, a little over 530. The smallest ship in the fleet, the Braemar, has a gross tonnage of 24,344, although it can accommodate more passengers (929) than the either the Black Watch or Boudicca, despite its smaller size. These ships sail literally all over the globe. Every continent besides Antarctica can be visited on a Fred. Olson cruise.
The Fred. Olson cruise experience is fairly traditional, especially compared to the floating cities that some cruise lines operate. Fred. Olson passengers dress up for five-course dinners each night and then can enjoy entertainment options like cabaret shows. During the days, passengers lounge around the deck or take classes in subjects of interest to them (painting, wine tasting, etc.). Things are simpler on a Fred. Olson cruise – you won’t spend you days running between the water parks and elaborate sports facilities.
As you can see, Fred. Olson offers a cruise experience that inspires nostalgia, and many might be drawn to this. The amenities that are packed onto the newest cruise ships are incredible, but something is lost when a cruise ship is so large that passengers can go days without even noticing they are at sea. If you are the type of person who might like a Fred. Olson cruise, keep in mind that it doesn’t make much sense to go on one unless you are already in the U.K. However, if you already live there, or if you are planning a trip there that could incorporate a cruise, look into Fred. Olson for a traditional cruise experience.